Steps to shrinking your jeans a size down

What to do to let jeans shrink for one size smaller

When buying new clothes, we hope that they will keep their appearance forever, but most of them will stretch and not look quite so good after just a few times you have put them on. Today we look through the ways of restoring the size of your favorite pair of jeans that has stretched out.

Why jeans stretch

When we come to the store and something we like doesn’t quite fit, the attendant often says: “It will stretch, just wear it a few times”. Therefore, experts advise to buy jeans 1-2 sizes smaller.

Why do jeans stretch? It’s just the natural quality of denim; just try to tear off a cotton thread while sewing. You cannot do it right away; it will stretch and follow your hand some, first.

Denim also consists of cotton threads, just slightly thicker ones. Jeans don’t have the reputation of one of the longest-wearing fabrics for nothing. It’s all because the cotton will just stretch after some time, albeit not immediately.

But jeans made of natural fabric can’t return to their initial state, unlike synthetic fabrics, which either do not stretch at all or in have rubberized fibers added to the material. So after a while our favorite pants or shorts become baggy. They lose their shape, and don’t fit your figure quite so well anymore.

Helpful tip: if you want the pants to always fit you like they did in the store, buy the same model, only 1 size smaller.

It really isn’t that big of a deal if your jeans lost their shape, since there are plenty of ways to return it to their former glory!

What types of denim are there

Before you wash your favorite pants, you need to know which fabrics can be fixed, and which cannot. There are quite a lot of options in stores nowadays.

  1. The main thing to remember is never boiling or using hot water to wash fabrics which include synthetic fibers. It will only make those fabrics lose their appearance, and not only will it not change the size, but render the item completely unwearable.
  2. Shrink to fit. This is a certain type of fabric that shrinks only at the first wash, so any subsequent wash will not have much effect, unfortunately. These items can only be made smaller by sewing.
  3. Stretch. Those are the pants or shorts that are supposed to have a snug fit. So they are sort of “stretched” onto you. If they became too loose for you, there are two options: either you have lost weight, or the stretchy fibers are ruined and can not be restored. Washing them won’t help.

In any other case, all the options described below will suit you, and help restore your things to their initial shape, making them fit your figure well.


The very first solution that comes to mind is washing the item. After all, every housewife knows that fabrics shrink after washing at high temperatures. This is especially noticeable with denim. Every time you put on freshly laundered jeans, you feel like you’ve gained a little weight, even though you haven’t. To return your denim pants or shorts to their former shape and shrink them, all you have to do is wash them in hot water. There are two ways:

  • hand washing;
  • machine washing.

The second option will be more effective. And all because your hands are unlikely to be able to wash anything at a temperature of 90 degrees. That is why a washing machine will be the best option. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Put the denim product into the washing machine.
  2. Choose a temperature of 90 degrees or higher.
  3. Set on an intensive spin.

After you perform this algorithm, the thing can already be one or even several sizes smaller!

Washing by hand can also be effective, but you will not be able to get as good of a result as with a machine wash. But if you do not have an electric appliance, then do not despair, you can also shrink denim by a few centimeters with hand washing!

Helpful tip: do not use detergents containing bleach to prevent damaging the fabric.


This method was used by our mothers and grandmothers. It is quite easy to use, all you will need is to find a large bucket or pot, and suffer some stuffiness in the kitchen.

To make jeans shrink after boiling you need to:

  1. Mix powder detergent with warm water, to make a concentrated solution .
  2. Put the item you want to shrink into the solution.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Boil for about 30 minutes.

If you have heard about boiled jeans and you do not like them — this option is not for you. As a general rule, after boiling the item changes its color, and what’s more, changes it unevenly. Therefore, if you are not ready for such sacrifices, it is better not to chance it.

Helpful tip: to prevent the pants from changing color— dissolve detergent powder in water, instead of pouring it onto the parts of the fabric before you wash them.


Another way of shrinking jeans is the correct drying. It will not only help in making your item smaller in size, but will also restore its shape.

  1. The first way is to hang your pants on a drying rack or a clothesline without straightening them or stretching them out. But they must be well squeezed well, so that the dripping water does not pull them down.
  2. The other way is laying pants flat down on fabric. The fabric will absorb all the moisture, and the pants will dry without the influence of gravity, which will restore their shape.
  3. And the last method is hot drying in a washing machine. If your machine has such a function, it works perfectly to keep size you achieved. If it does not have the drying function, then the alternative is a radiator- just do not forget to put a towel or any other rag under the pants, so that there are no yellow stains. Jeans can be dried on a hot summer day under the sun. If the weather is cloudy and the radiators are cold, you can use the Laundry service, which has specialized drying machines.

Helpful tip: to protect the item from damage during washing, turn it inside out.

It is impossible to say which method is the most effective, and which is not, they will all help you make your favorite jeans shrink one or even several sizes.

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